Due to the “continued negative business environment”, the Canberra Raiders’ major sponsor Huawei have today announced 2020 will be its last year supporting the NRL club.
The Chinese technology giant has been the Canberra side’s biggest sponsor for nearly a decade, pulling out on a two-season deal made in June 2019.
Canberra Raiders CEO Don Furner said the club was proud of the work it had achieved through its collaboration with Huawei and was sad to see the sponsorship come to an end.
“This relationship has been about so much more than just a logo on a jersey, we have worked with Huawei on a number of very important community initiatives and fundraising opportunities for very worthwhile causes,” he said.
“We are very sad that they will be stepping back as major sponsor of the Raiders but we are very proud of all that we have achieved together and we hope we can finish this season off successfully.”
The Huawei logo is set to remain on the Canberra Raiders jersey but will be relocated to the back and the company will retain naming rights over the new Huawei Raiders Training Centre in Braddon.
Canberra Raiders head coach Ricky Stuart said the partnership had been more than just a sponsorship deal.
“While some people talk about having strong partnerships, they don’t mean very much until you go through bad times together and back each other up,” he said.
“We at the Raiders supported Huawei Australia through a difficult period and Huawei supported us through a very difficult time as well.
“Huawei and the Raiders went well beyond simply being a commercial arrangement, we forged a very strong relationship that became very personal and it is one which we will always be grateful for.”
In a joint statement from the sporting club and the technology company, it states the “continued negative business environment” has had a larger impact on the company’s revenue stream, forcing the end to the collaboration.
Huawei Australia chief corporate affairs officer, Jeremy Mitchell, extended his thanks to the Canberra side’s unwavering support.
“It is so disappointing that it has ended this way but are very proud of the small role we have played in this great NRL club,” he said.
“Our near decade as major sponsor of the Raiders has been one of the most successful in Australian sport and we are very sad that it has come to an end.
“Even after the Turnbull Government banned us from 5G, we managed to find the resources to continue the sponsorship, but we just can’t financially support it any longer.
“We have stuck with the Raiders through the very tough times and they have stuck with us too during our recent tough times, we have formed friendships and memories that will endure forever.”
There were no further announcements on alternative sponsorship agreements today.
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